As we approach the end of 2019, it’s time for a recap. First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful year! For myself personally, it was a time filled with many ups and downs, and if I had to sum things up, I’d say that 2019 was most definitely a year in transition.
But 2019 was kind of different…
The 2019 recap starts with Q1, when I rang in the new year from BGC.
Not long after the new year commenced, I was off to explore the Philippines.
Fun with good company.
Go where the tourists aren’t for a more chill time.
In February, Bali was up next.
Which made for a most AWESOME experience!
The “Real” Gates of Heaven (Pura Lempuyang) in Bali.
And the ummm “alternative” shot everyone from Instagram wants to post/see.
New Beginnings in BGC
Still during the early part of the year (back in April), but now in Q2, I stumbled upon a wonderful “deep value” opportunity to purchase my very first personal residence in a city (Bonifacio Global City, Manila) that I was finding myself spending a lot of time immersed in, post-FI.
I wouldn’t say I made a rash decision to pull the trigger on purchasing a studio unit in BGC, though, because a few months prior to making the “big move”, I had already outlined on this blog why I thought BGC was fast becoming a strong conviction idea of mine.
In short, BGC pretty much had all the offerings of everything that a guy like me was looking for post-FI (e.g., clean, shiny, modern, very safe, English-speaking, plethora of shops/restaurants/entertainment all within walking distance, shorts n flip flops weather year round, etc.), and I felt confident this was indeed the right move.
However, as you can see from the image below, I basically inherited a “bare bones” unit and had to start life anew from SCRATCH!
Here’s how the unit looked the first night I moved in…
Just barely functional…
Slowly but surely (piece by piece), though, the house was starting to feel more like a home…
For the first time in my life, I was able to customize things just the way I wanted it…
Trying to stay frugal, yet economical.
Still, despite all the progress and happenings going on with the new digs, the memory of the first part of this year will always be bittersweet for me…
Harsh Reality of Life
Unfortunately, coinciding around the same timeframe of Q2 is when my beloved gmom passed away, which in essence made me alter course, drop everything I was doing out here in Manila, and rush back home to be with family…
It was truly a heart-breaking time for me, a period in which I felt completely lost and unable to process anything, really…
For awhile, I was in a dark, lonely, desolate place in my life…
And the realization that events like this are unavoidable in life, really makes one want to cherish each moment, and not take things for granted…
Anyone who has been a long-time reader of this blog and/or is on the path of early FI knows what I’m getting at.
From an early age, so much of what’s been inculcated into our brains is to chase after $$$ and compete our asses off to make it in this world.
Yes, $$$ is extremely important and it does make much of what goes round and round, but it’s not everything!
Clearly, there are things $$$ cannot buy… and it most definitely can’t help us rewind the clock and give us back…
So, yeah, with all that in mind, I made a more conscious effort this past summer (when I was back in the Bay Area) to spend more time with family and friends… to appreciate my time back home, as much as possible.
In fact, I even made the trek up further north in Cali to spend even more time with family… and I somehow managed to even make an awesome new friend, during the process…
Just like that, seemingly half the year had already flown by.
Summer Gold Rush
However, despite my shift in focus, I still managed to catch hold of the “short-lived” emerging gold bull market (which may still be intact as we speak), and shared my thoughts with readers in a Thank You Newsletter update.
As always, I was more than thrilled to hear stories and receive comments/messages/emails from readers who were taking advantage of the changing tides and making solid (if not AMAZING) gains from the market.
This time around, though, it was kind of a “blink and you’ll miss it” type of proposition for gold, as the broader world of precious metals mining stocks has corrected quite a bit since the euphoric summer highs.
The 2019 recap continues.
Towards the end of the summer, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to make it out to Hawaii.
I got to enjoy some wonderful sights, sounds, and of course yummy food.
It was refreshing to get away from everything.
I sure needed some fresh air to clear my mind.
Furthermore, the website of this blog underwent a major refresh mid-year, as the year of transition continued.
At long last, a new blog theme after 7 years!
And although posting has been more scarce on here this year than in the past, nonetheless, even now, I’m still very much excited for the changes.
Looking forward to sharing much more content in the future!
Thanks to the readers who have stuck around through thick and thin!
I appreciate the love and support more than you’ll ever know.
Back to Manila
The 2019 recap now takes us to the last quarter of the year.
Finally, during the early part of Q4, I decided it was time to head back “home” to Manila.
Just in time for a celebration.
Also, it was about time I got back to continuing with the home renovations at my studio unit in BGC.
At times, the process of furnishing a new home became tedious, but these are the moments that truly make life special.
I’ll always look back fondly on the journey going from:
Scratch -> Home.
Luckily, the kitchen renovation was completed just in time for Christmas.
Yup, you could say spending more time with family was the prevailing theme for me in 2019.
Trying to make the most of our time together.
Especially during the holiday season.
Ultimately, this is what early FI is all about.
Closing the year out in style!
Starting to feel like home now.
A year in transition, but no regrets.
And that’s a recap of my 2019, in a nutshell.
I hope you had a most special and memorable year!
To bigger and better days ahead.
Keep up the fight!